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Sandell, R. Blomberg, J. Lazar, A. Carlsson, J. Broberg, J. Schubert, J. (2000). Varieties of Long-Term Outcome Among Patients in Psychoanalysis and Long-Term Psychotherapy: A Review of Findings in the Stockholm Outcome of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy Project (Stoppp). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 81(5):921-942.

(2000). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 81(5):921-942

Varieties of Long-Term Outcome Among Patients in Psychoanalysis and Long-Term Psychotherapy: A Review of Findings in the Stockholm Outcome of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy Project (Stoppp)

Rolf Sandell, Johan Blomberg, Anna Lazar, Jan Carlsson, Jeanette Broberg and Johan Schubert

This paper reports the main findings of a large-scale study of subsidised psychoanalysis and long-term psychotherapy. More than 400 people in various phases, before, during and after subsidised psychoanalysis or long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy, were followed up for a period of three years with personal interviews, questionnaires and official statistics. Our analyses revealed progressive improvement the longer patients were in treatment—impressively strong among patients in psychoanalysis—on self-rating measures of symptom distress and morale. Improvement, however, was equally weak in both groups on a self-rating measure of social relations. Dosage factors (treatment duration and session frequency in combination) partly accounted for the outcome differences between those referred to psychoanalysis and those referred to long-term psychotherapy. Attitudes and ideals among therapists and analysts concerning the goals and means of psychotherapy were also associated with patient outcome, although in rather complex ways. A significant part of the outcome differences between patients in psychoanalysis and in psychotherapy could be explained by the adoption, in a large group of therapists, of orthodox psychoanalytic attitudes that seemed to be counterproductive in the practice of psychotherapy but not in psychoanalysis. It is suggested that this effect may be a negative transfer of the psychoanalytic stance into psychotherapeutic practice and that this may be especially pronounced when the attitudes are not backed up by psychoanalytic training.

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